North Carolina Vacation
We just got back from a 5 day vacation to North Carolina. We booked it just two weeks before Memorial Day in hopes of going to the beach. We were eyeing both Wilmington and the Outer Banks, but weren’t really sure what we were going to do. However, just a few days leading up to the trip the weathermen forecasted a tropical storm hitting that exact area, so we switched our plans and after landing in Raleigh decided to head west. Our trip consisted of lots and lots of hikeng and over the course of four days we covered 404 flights of stairs, 36 miles, and took 80,000 steps. We absolutely loved everywhere we went and had a blast touring the state. It was so gorgeous!
Day 1 – Dallas — Winston-Salem
We drove from Raleigh to Winston-Salem where we checked into our hotel and walked around Old Salem. The buildings were so cute and quaint. We had a short time there before waking up and starting what began four days of hiking.
Day 2 – Winston-Salem — Boone
After having a quick stayover in Winston-Salem we woke up and drove to Pilot Mountain. We hiked the Ledge Springs trail which gave us a good view of the town and then drove to Boone where we did more hiking. The hiking near Boone is along the Blue Ridge Parkway and you can hike for days and days. While we wish we had time to visit them all, we decided to hike the Price Lake Trail around the lake and then ended the day with the Boone Fork Trail which was a 5 mile hike that starts and ends at the Julian Price Memorial park. We were exhausted and finished just before sunset. We encountered sporadic rain all day, but it didn’t stop us from seeing all the beauty!
Day 3 – Boone – Asheville
After staying in Boone, we drove towards Grandfather mountain. We didn’t want to pay to get in the main entrance, so we found another trail, Profile view trail. We didn’t quite prepare for our hike on this day. We only had one bottle of water and no snacks. The first half of this hike was all uphill and just when we thought we would be done it kept going and going. Towards the end it connected with one or two other trails and had several gorgeous lookout points. I wasn’t sure if I would make it down, but we did and were ready for water and food (and a bathroom) asap. After eating, we headed towards Asheville where we checked into our hotel, found more food, and then walked around the downtown area.
Day 4 – Asheville — Charlotte
We started our day by visiting the Asheville Arboretum, which also had a few side trails. After going back to our hotel to checkout we made another drive and ended up at Chimney Rock. This hike was a little different as it involved stairs, which in my opinion takes away from the whole natural and nature feel of a hike, but it also gave gorgeous views. This was another straight up hike, but much easier. We hiked all the way to the top before making yet another drive to Charlotte where we stayed and spent time with Colby’s aunt, uncle and cousins.
Day 5 – Charlotte — Dallas
After a morning walk with his aunt, we left Charlotte and headed east to the Duke Gardens in Durham. We drove around campus for a minute or two before heading to Raleigh where we visited the Umstead State Park where we did more hiking. Thankfully this area was flat, so it should probably be called walking. Before heading to the airport I got to meet a girl I have connected with via my online group which was such a blessing!
- Bring water + snacks, don’t make the mistake we did!
- The only parks/hikes we paid for were to see the Asheville Arboretuem which was $12/car and Chimney Rock which was $13/person.
- If you want to see Grandfather Mountain, but don’t want to pay, you can also park at the start of Profile View Trail and do that instead.
- Boone has the most options for hiking, as mentioned above. I highly recommend that whole area if you want lots of options.
PPS. I am giving away a personalized cuff over on instagram! Head over to enter.
I didn’t start sharing our traveling adventures on the blog until the end of 2013, but you can see some of our vacations below as well as how to travel on a budget here.
- Pacific Northwest
- Western Caribbean Cruise
- Hilton Head
- South America: Argentina
- South America: Torres Del Paine
- South America: Lake Region
- South America: Santiago + Coast
- Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio
- Costa Rica: Santa Teresa
- Costa Rica: La Fortuna
- Las Vegas
- Caribbean Cruise – Grand Turk + Dominican Republic
- Caribbean Cruise – Aruba + Curacao
- Colorado Ski Date #2